Health Benefits of SandalWood Essential Oil
The health benefits of Sandal Wood Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti septic, anti inflammatory, anti phlogistic, anti spasmodic, astringent, cicatrisant, carminative, diuretic, disinfectant, emollient, expectorant, hypotensive, memory booster, sedative and tonic.
The Essential Oil of Sandal Wood is extracted through steam distillation of pieces of wood from matured Sandal trees which are 40-80 years old (ideally it should be 80 years). The older the tree, the more is the oil content and richer it is in aroma. As far as the quality is concerned, the Indian Sandal (botanical name Santalum Album) is considered the best. There are two more varieties, namely the Hawaiian Sandal (Santalum Ellipticum), which is also priced as that of high quality, and the Australian Sandal (Santalum Spicatum) which is not that good, but is commercially more in use, since the first two varieties are not much available and hence very costly (the Indian variety is on the verge of extinction and is exorbitantly costly. The main constituents of Essential Oil of Sandal are Beta Santalol, Santyl Acetate and Santalenes.
For ages, Sandal has reserved as place of dignity and priority in many civilizations and religions of the world, especially in Hindu Religion, where it is considered holy and indispensable in all the social and religious rituals and ceremonies, right from the birth of an individual till his death. In every step, sandal is required. It is offered to the Gods and Goddesses, used in decorating babies in their anniversaries, used in marriages to decorate brides and bridegrooms, mixed with the flowers and other offerings, used to embalm bodies and foreheads which is a common practice among people of many communities in India and also burnt with the pyre while cremating dead-bodies.
Sandal Oil and paste of Sandal is used in medicines, skin and beauty treatments and numerous industrial products including mouth fresheners, edibles, incense sticks, room fresheners, deodorants, perfumes, soaps, lotions, creams and others. It has some really remarkable medicinal properties.
We shall see what those are.
* Anti Septic: Essential Oil of Sandal Wood is very good as an anti septic. It is safe for both internal and external applications. It ingested, it helps protect internal wounds and ulcers from infections. Similarly, when applied on skin, it protects wounds, sores, boils, pimples etc. from infections and from getting septic.
* Anti Inflammatory: Both Sandal Wood paste and its essential oil are very effective as anti inflammatory agents. They have a nice cooling effect and gives relief from all types of inflammations in brain, digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system, excretory system etc. resulting from infections, fever, side effects of antibiotics, poisoning, insect bites, wounds etc. Sandal Wood Essential Oil is particularly beneficial in case of nervous and circulatory inflammations.
* Anti Phlogistic: Just as it has been discussed above, Sandal Wood Oil has Anti Phlogistic properties and gives relief from inflammations resulting from fever and viral infections.
* Anti Spasmodic: Being a relaxant and sedative in nature, this oil works great against spasm too. It relaxes nerves, muscles and blood vessels and hence ends spasm or contraction. Thus it is helpful in treating problems associated with spasm, such as cramps, aches, coughs etc.
* Astringent: Although very mild, still this oil has some astringent properties which induce contraction in gums, muscles and skin. This proves beneficial in terms of strengthening hold of gums on teeth, strengthening of muscles, tightening of skin etc.
* Cicatrisant: The essential oil of Sandal Wood soothes skin and helps fading away of scars, spots etc. It has been an old practice to use paste of sandal wood as a skin pack. The same effect can be obtained from this essential oil. This oil is now extensively used in skin-care soaps, lotions and creams.
* Carminative: The Essential Oil of Sandal Wood, being relaxant in nature, induces relaxation in the intestines and abdominal muscles, thereby facilitating removal of gases. It does not also let gases form.
* Diuretic: Due to its relaxing and anti inflammatory nature, it soothes inflammations in the urinary system and induces relaxation in it, thereby promoting easy passage of urine. It also increases frequency and quantity of urination. This helps a lot treating the infections and inflammations in the urinary system.
* Disinfectant: It is the disinfectant property of Sandal Wood Essential Oil that justifies it’s such a wide use in the religious ceremonies and cosmetics. Its fragrance keeps away microbes and small insects and that is why it is extensively used in incense sticks, sprays, fumigants and evaporators to disinfect the whole surrounding. Moreover, this oil can be mixed with bathing water or other lotions or oils to apply on skin and wounds and ensure their protection from infections. This oil can also be safely taken with milk to cure internal infections, such as those in throat, oesophagus, stomach, intestines, excretory tracts etc.
* Emollient: Sandal Oil soothes skin, relieves it from inflammations and irritations, cures infections on it and keeps it fresh and cool.
* Expectorant: Sandal Wood Essential Oil behaves as an expectorant and is particularly effective in treating coughs. It also fights viral infection which causes cough & cold, flu, mumps etc.
* Hypotensive: This is a very useful property of Sandal Wood Essential Oil. It can be taken with milk or even water to reduce blood pressure in patients suffering from high blood pressure. The paste of Sandal Wood has the same effect.
* Memory Booster: It improves memory and induces concentration. It keeps the brain cool and relaxed and saves from undue stress and anxiety.
* Sedative: This oil sedates inflammations, anxiety, fear, stress, restlessness etc. and induces relaxation, calmness, concentration, inner vision, positive thoughts etc.
* Tonic: This oil can be very good health tonic for all, especially for growing children. It can be safely given to them. Since it is soothing on stomach and digestive system, circulatory system and nervous system, it helps these system function in harmony and without any
* Other Benefits: Deodorant,
Few Words of Caution: No threats found, except that it is recommended not to be used raw on skin. For applying on skin, it should be mixed with carrier oil.
Blending: Bergamot, Black pepper, Geranium, Lavender, Myrrh, Rose, Vetiver and Ylang-Ylang.
This article was contributed by Aparup Mukherjee